Seely's Ark Farm, Rabbits And More, Dunnellon, Fla.
Seely's Ark farm is the largest producer of meat rabbits in the State of Florida. They started business in the 1980s and now have over 10-acres of land in Central Florida dedicated to raising small sized livestock like rabbits, pastured chickens, and sheep.
I got a tour of their farm in December 2012, Beth Seely was my guide.
The farm uses humane growing practices, "We follow animal welfare regulation/act not because we have to but because we want to," said Seely. They feed their animals a chemical-free, hormone-free, antibiotic-free food that is full of alfalfa and oats and other healthy ingredients.
"I came up with the mix," said Seely, adding it is now available to all rabbit farmers in the Southeast.
Seely houses her rabbits outdoors in covered raised cages, "Rabbits on the ground in Florida are not healthy because you expose them to things in the soil." She has bait worms underneath the cages to compost all the rabbit manure and urine. This keeps bacteria and the smell down to a minimum and provides compost for neighboring farmers.
Seely's Ark also has a slaughterhouse and meat processing facility in Ocala that is USDA-inspected with a HACCP plan. They also have a poultry exempt license. This means they can process Pastured poultry meat birds from area farmers as well as other types of animals.
To try Seely's Ark meat products go to some Publix supermarkets and restaurant.